I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where do I Start in Writing?

As I pondered what to write about this month I starting looking over the lessons I have been preparing for the upcoming Romance Writers’ Retreat this spring, and decided I should share some of them here.
So here we go. Lesson One:


We have a responsibility to seek God for our stories.

As Christian fiction writers, we have a greater responsibility to our readership than that of our secular counterparts. Though both writers from ABA and CBA sectors have the responsibility to write engaging stories, the Christian writer has a greater responsibility. That is, to reveal the heart of God in such a way that it allows the reader to connect.

It must first be inside of you before it can get inside of your stories.
In other words, the more time you spend in sincere worship before God, in prayer and Bible study, the more equipped you will be to bring understanding to your readers by way of your characters struggles, triumphs and dependence on God in the story. Or lack of dependence for that matter.

Pray for your characters.

Yes, I said pray for your characters. God will answer that prayer.
Remember, your characters represent real people in the real world. Someone somewhere needs to hear what God would say to that character.
Don’t forget to pray for your readers as well.

To obey or not to obey.
You will need to decide which characters are going to obey what God is saying and which are not and what are the consequences of either action.
You also need to decide if the character is going to misunderstand God’s directions at this time and how you are going to show God’s real intention toward the character.
Are you going to give God an actual voice in your story, usually written in bold italics or is HE going to be understood as speaking to the character through the character’s own voice. These decisions are just as important as any other in your book.
You may also wish to show a character’s growing ability to discern the voice of God.
As you can see, there is much to pray about.
All of this may sound like an overwhelming task and in some ways, it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Most everything you write will come from the flow of your heart.
…For out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

Would you share an instance in your own writing when you realized that God was flowing through you?

~Ginger Takamiya

December Contest: We're having weekly contests during December and we're giving away fun prizes! Leave a comment this week and you could win: a journal and a mug containing 3 Starbucks Christmas flavored VIA packets and 3 flavored tea bags. The mug has a photo of an old-fashioned typewriter on it and says: Write your own story. To see a photo of this week's prize, go here.


  1. Great post, G. It took me a long time to pray over my writing. At first, I felt it was a selfish request, but then I learned it's not about me, but my readers. I've read so many books where I felt as if the writer was writing about ME.

    I'm not quite sure when God was flowing through me as I wrote, but I do know I learned valuable lessons alongside my characters.

  2. Very solid and encouraging content. My novels aren't published yet, but one of my daughter-in-laws read my 1st unpublished novel and w/ tears in her eyes, told me it helped her see into my heart more than anything previously. I thank God for that.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement to pray for my characters and especially for future readers! I used to feel guilty when I'd think about writing during church. Maybe that's not such a bad thing. ;-)

  4. Ginger, I sooooo enjoyed this post! It was so practical and hands on. Thank you! I had never thought to pray for my characters before, though I have prayed for my writing. You opened my eyes to the bigger scope for prayer when it comes to writing a story God has given me. Thank you! I so appreciate your insights!

    As for your question about when God was flowing through me, I have written some devotions for our church's women's newsletter. A couple of them have come together so quickly, and people have shared how it ministered to them, so I have to think that it was God flowing through me as I wrote. :)

    I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  5. Roxanne, never feel bad about thinking about your writing in church. I have found some of my best insights for my stories and characters have come during deep worship in church. God reveals things to you while in worship. I had a prophet once tell me that it was during worship time that he received the most revelation.

    LJ, that was wonderful what you said. Thanks for sharing.

    Dee, you are so encouraging. Thank you for that validation. I really worked on this post and prayed over it probably more than any other post I've written. Also, I'm so glad to hear how your writing has already touched people even before publication. What a joy when God encourages us like that!

    Jeanne, thanks for making me smile :) Keep up the writing.

    God has a whole host of people He has placed in our sphere of influence to reach. Ladies, we WILL reach them because Jesus is first in our lives. You are all such a blessing to me. Thank you :)

  6. BTW the lady in the picture is my very dear friend, Michelle Allemang. She is also Rider's and Arabella's teacher.

  7. To answer your question, it happened when I was writing my one-year devotional. (Thanks for all your critiques, Jenness!) Many times I stared at the computer screen wondering how I could possibly do justice to the wonderful names of God. Somehow, He prompted me to write, and now, as I read through the published book, *One Year Alone with God,* I'm struck by how many of the devotions seem totally unfamiliar - as if they were written by someone else. Glory to God!

  8. Ava, I completely understand what you mean. That seems an often by product of flowing in God. The unfamiliar words we read, knowing it was not ourselves that wrote them.

  9. Sorry to comment so late, Ginger! Great post...and so practical. Lots of wonderful reminders packed in!!